This is a rather beautifully produced, heavy book, with a cloth spine just like Monty Don's Ivington or Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries. The photography by Jonathan Buckley is really gorgeous, at its best in tiny details and landscape views. And beyond the aesthetic element there's the main attraction: Carol Klein's writing, very inspiring, knowledgable, and open and friendly too.
The book is arranged month by month and covers a year in the life at Glebe Cottage- Klein's family home for many years, and where she runs her nursery business. Gardening books that are also garden diaries have a special charm, and this one is particularly delightful for its strong sense of the seasonal changes from snowdrops to bluebells to euphorbias to gladioli ("a divisive issue amongst gardeners":-)).
You can count on Carol for an unusual view of things and a lifetime of expertise to share. There's the element of chance: encounters with wildlife, unexpected plant combinations and honesty about things going wrong. As you'd expect from a nurserywoman, she is passionate about propagation and there's some good tips. And of course the book offers the delights of knowing exactly what plants a gardener you admire has in their plot.
This is not a reference book, it's a gorgeous take-to-bed winter gardening book which will give pause for thought, bring new plants into your life, and just remind you how much you are looking forward to spring. I'm so glad that BBC books have finally seen fit to publish Carol Klein, who is a wonderful gardening writer, in the kind of style she has always deserved. Don't be deceived by her brightly coloured, slightly punky outfits and hairdos: this is a really classy book, as classy as the gardener herself.